Troop withdrawal from Syria
I tread lightly on military matters, and I share Trump’s disgust with “endless wars.” But:
What matters to Trump is creating and burnishing his image of struggling to extract U.S. troops from the “endless wars” in which America’s foreign policy elite has plunged them. What matters to Trump is showing his supporters that he is trying to bring the boys home against the will of the deep state, which victimizes him with impeachment and victimizes them with taxes and war. The Pentagon, or the FBI, evading his orders or even fighting back against him is not a cost to be paid but a bonus to be collected for this self-described “stable genius” of branding.
Gen. John Allen, a retired Marine, said, “If we were going to draw a circle around a group of American troops who are more important right now to the stabilization of any place on the planet, it’s that thousand troops.” He said of Turkey’s incursion into Syria, “This is just chaos.” Retired Adm. James Stavridis said it will lead to the comeback of ISIS and embolden other U.S. adversaries. He noted that it’s some kind of policy that can unite, in opposition, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bernie Sanders.
Why this decision? Why now?
To redeem a campaign pledge with another campaign looming? On impulse? What was behind the impulse?
Noonan’s column was especially good, I though, on how our post-Vietnam military is hesitant to engage in new conflicts, but once ordered in by the Commander in Chief, they tend to be even more hesitant to withdraw just because the political winds have shifted.